Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2022), Letters, Volume 30

Sir,—May I comment on the piece by Stephen Kelly (HI 30.2, March/April 2022)? It seems to me that throughout his political career Charles Haughey adhered to the Constitution enacted by the electorate, which pledged Ireland’s adherence to the principle of seeking the peaceful resolution of international disagreements as outlined in Article 29, and that he followed the example of Eamon de Valera and Frank Aiken in this matter. He was a witness, in the early 1950s in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, to a bellicose speech by Liam Kelly that resulted in an RIC baton charge and some prosecutions there, and the appointment to Seanad Éireann by the Fine Gael Taoiseach, John A. Costello. At the time Haughey was not a TD but a lieutenant in the FCA. He was with some fellow Fianna Fáil men who were in his unit, the North County Dublin Battalion. Years later as a youngster in the unit I was shocked to hear Dessie Francis, a lieutenant in that unit, speak of Kelly talking ‘sedition’. I realise now that he and Haughey considered the idea of ending partition by armed force futile and fully endorsed de Valera’s view of things. I appreciate that Haughey had a short fuse and a hot temper, but he kept a cool and calculating head in his dealings with foreign leaders, neither trying to browbeat them nor fawning on them.—Yours etc.,



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